United Way of Chattanooga

Lesley Scearce New CEO
April 17th, 2015 3:44 PM

Lesley Scearce Confirmed as United Way’s New CEO, to Begin in August, 2015

The United Way Board of Directors have named Lesley Scearce as the new President and CEO of United Way.  Ms. Scearce will succeed current President and CEO Eva Dillard after her retirement in August, 2015. 

CEO Search Committee Chair Dr. Bill Stacy shared the committee’s unanimous recommendation of Ms. Scearce with the Board of Directors at their meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

“We believe Lesley has the experience and skills necessary to lead United Way into the next decade, as the greater Chattanooga area continues to undergo significant change and growth,” said Board Chair Tom Glenn when addressing United Way’s leadership. “Her ability to lead a team, work effectively with partners and supporters, drive measurable impact, build strategically, and clearly communicate are some of the skills that will serve our United Way well.”

A Chattanooga native, Ms. Scearce received her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and her Masters of Public Administration from UTC.  She has been with On Point for 15 years, serving 13 of those years as President and CEO.

Under her leadership, On Point’s youth development efforts annually reach 15,000 students from 52 area schools assisted by partnerships with 50 community agencies.  On Point’s impact also extends beyond our community as its research and curricula have been replicated in 30 states and 13 foreign countries.

When asked how she felt upon her confirmation Wednesday, Ms. Scearce said “I am humbled and excited to begin this new journey serving the United Way of Greater Chattanooga alongside such passionate staff, Board members, community agencies, and community leaders. Fourteen years of leading in education and youth development has taught me the power of partnership in ensuring our children are empowered from cradle to career, and that their lives are nestled in a foundation of stable families and communities. I look forward to building on the United Way's legacy of strong results to not only collectively solve our community's most pressing issues, but ensure all youth, families and citizens flourish.”

United Way of Greater Chattanooga funds local programs that create opportunities for people to care for themselves and each other, making our community the best at helping people achieve their potential. Because of an endowment fund that assists with overhead and administrative expenses, all campaign contributions (100 percent) go directly to services that help individuals and families in greater Chattanooga, North Georgia and Northeast Alabama.

Call 423-752-0300 or visit United Way online at LiveUnitedChattanooga.org for more information about United Way and its programs.



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Volunteer of the Year Award Winners
April 14th, 2015 11:03 PM

United Way’s Volunteer Center Celebrates Community Champions

United Way’s Volunteer Center (a Hands-On action center) hosted the annual Volunteer United Awards Banquet to honor local volunteer “Champions” who become engaged in our community by working to solve local problems one day and one person at a time.

In this region over the past two years, United Way’s Volunteer Center recruited, engaged or managed more than 15,000 volunteers area-wide for various projects and organizations; brought in more than 100,000 volunteer hours to the region at a value of more than $2.5* million in human capital; coordinated hundreds of corporate service and day of caring projects; and helped approximately 200 area nonprofits recruit volunteers for their activities.

The Volunteer United Awards Banquet was hosted by United Way’s Volunteer Center, DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) and the Corporate Volunteer Council (an advisory committee to the United Way). Area volunteers were celebrated for accomplishing important work – such as mentoring students, helping patients, providing fresh produce for those in need, and helping veterans and people with disabilities  – through service.

This year’s keynote speaker was Bruce Hartmann, President of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, who spoke on “Volunteerism: the Foundation for Community.”    

One corporation and six individuals were recognized for volunteering to meet needs in their communities. They were: Roper for the Corporate Volunteer of the Year; Erica Morelandfor the Youth Programs & Education Volunteer of the Year; Pam, Cage, and Chloe Gary for the Family Volunteers of the Year; Joyce McNish for the Health & Environmental Volunteers of the Year; Kristen Edgeworth for the Emerging Volunteer of the Year; Bertha Ware for the National Service Volunteer of the Year; and Jim Houghton for the Community Volunteer of the Year.  

The awards banquet was made possible thanks to its sponsors: Elders ACE Hardware, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Unum, and First Tennessee Bank.

United Way's Volunteer Center, DOVIA and the Corporate Volunteer Council are also holding a special volunteers’ night out at the Lookouts on April 16 as another way of thanking their hard-working volunteers.

The Volunteer Center is a vital United Way program that locates volunteer opportunities and recruits people to contribute their time to create real impact and lasting change in their communities.  One way it accomplishes that is through iHelpChattanooga.org, a handy web site that allows volunteers and agencies to meet community needs by connecting people looking for opportunities to organizations that need volunteers.  

United Way's Volunteer Center promotes volunteerism throughout the region by helping organizations recruit volunteers and create the best opportunities for youth, busy working adults and seniors; connecting individuals, groups and corporations to customized volunteer opportunities that fit their interests; and publicly recognizing volunteer impact in our community.

Call Anna Baker, Volunteer Center Associate Director, at 423-752-0316 for more information on how to become involved in the community, or visit the web site at www.iHelpChattanooga.org.

*National Value of Volunteer Time - The estimated value of volunteer time for 2013 is $22.55 per hour. The new values for 2014 are being drawn later this year. See more at: https://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time#sthash.klCnjlXC.dpuf or https://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time

Volunteering and Civic Engagement in Tennessee

Trends and Highlights Overview (no new state research available since 2012) 
Overall, in Tennessee in 2012:

  • 24.8% of residents volunteer, ranking them 37th among the 50 states and Washington, DC.
  • 34.1 volunteer hours per resident.
  • 1.27 million volunteers.
  • 171.4 million hours of service.
  • $3.8 billion of service contributed.
  • 54.5% of residents donate to charity.
  • 6.1% of residents participate in public meetings.
  • 22.1% of residents over age 55 volunteer.
  • Additional data is available on voting, group participation, social connectedness, and other volunteering and civic life indicators.
  • See more at: http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/TN#sthash.2Pkt0KiK.dpuf 

Volunteering and Civic Engagement in the United States 
Research shows that overall rate of volunteering is slightly lower than the previous year yet remains strong and stable, and that Americans’ commitment to volunteering spans across generations. Key demographic highlights of the report include:

  • Americans ages 35-44 had the highest volunteer rate (31.3 percent) followed by those age 45-54 (29.4 percent). One in five of those defined as “Millennials”, those of ages 16-31, (21.7 percent) volunteered.
  • The age groups with the highest median hours among volunteers are ages 65-74 (92 hours) and those 75 and older (90 hours).
  • The volunteer rate of parents with children under age 18 (32.9 percent) remained higher than the population as a whole (25.4 percent) and for persons without children under 18 (22.7 percent).
  • The volunteer rate among young adults (aged 18-24) attending college was 26.7 percent, nearly double the volunteer rate of young adults not attending college (13.5 percent).
  • See more at http://www.nationalservice.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/new-report-1-4-americans-volunteer-two-thirds-help-neighbors

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Celebrate Volunteering in April
April 14th, 2015 4:18 PM

It is springtime in the U.S., the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming.  April is the perfect month to bring attention to volunteers and the new life they bring to their communities, whether through a yearlong commitment to national serviceepisodic volunteering, or even microvolunteering.

U.S. mayors and county executives have found that national service volunteers are part of a cost-effective strategy for addressing local challenges. So, on April 7th, nearly 2,500 officials highlighted the value of national service during the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. Last year, 1,760 mayors representing more than 110 million citizens participated in the event, which is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National League of Cities, andCities of Service.

National Volunteer Week is from April 12-18. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses attention on the impact and power of volunteering and service and is endorsed by the President and Congress, governors, local officials, as well as corporate and community groups.

Our own United Way is celebrating our own annual Volunteer United Banquet this evening, where we honor the 2014 Volunteers of the Year for their work in local communities.  These volunteer winners and nominees represent a wide spectrum of agencies from across the region. Later this week the Volunteer Center, DOVIA and the Corporate Volunteer Council will further honor their hard working volunteers with an evening out at the Lookouts Stadium. For more events scheduled this week, see the list below.  

Even those who can’t participate in national service or more traditional  volunteer activities can get involved during National Volunteer Week. Microvolunteering Day is April 15, a day when everyone can take ten minutes to do something positive. Microvolunteering entails small, immediate actions to benefit a worthy cause, e.g., answering online questions from students in underserved communities seeking advice on careers and education, or clicking on charities’ websites to help raise money to feed the hungry – at no cost to the microvolunteer. Check out other microvolunteering ideas at Help From Home.

Whether you volunteer through national service, or once a week, or just once a year, National Volunteer Week is for you. United Way thanks you for lending a hand to advance the common good. LIVE UNITED.

April 12 to 18

Sunday, April 12

  • Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park: Volunteer Trail Work Day at Lookout Mountain Battlefield from 3 to 6 p.m. Projects include brushing, tread repair, and more. Please wear sturdy, close-toed shoes, long pants, and weather appropriate clothing. Necessary tools will be provided by the NPS. Please bring gloves, but if you do not have gloves, the NPS can provide some for you. Bring plenty of water and a snack. Interested volunteers should email william_sunderland@nps.gov for additional details.

Tuesday, April 14

  • Spirit Horse Therapeutic Riding @ Eagles Rest Ranch: Therapeutic Riding from 3:30 - 6 p.m. Call Joyce McNish at 423-544-9611 or email joycemcnish@bellsouth.net for more information.
  • United Way’s Volunteer Center: Volunteer United Awards Banquet, at the Unum Atrium, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Call Anna Baker at 423-752-0316 or email annabaker@uwchatt.org for more information. You can also visit the website at LiveUnitedChattanooga.org

Wednesday, April 15

  • Chattanooga Area Food Bank: Sorting food at the Warehouse from 8 to 11 a.m. Call Jessica Sullivan at 423-622-1800 or email JSullivan@chattfoodbank.org for more information

Thursday, April 16

  • United Way’s Volunteer Center: Volunteer Night at the Lookouts for all volunteers and nonprofit organizations across the region. Game begins at 7:15 p.m.
  • Humane Educational Society: Volunteer Open House and Cookout, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring a friend or family member who might be interested in learning about volunteering.  April 16 kicks off Thursday night Volunteer Happy Hour.  Every Thursday night through Fall, HES is open for volunteer pooch play and kitty cuddling until 8 p.m. 
  • Crabtree Farms: Spring Field Trips from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Volunteers needed to help with Pre-K school field trip. Contact achill@crabtreefarms.org for more information.
  • Lookout Mountain Conservancy: Volunteer Day at the Conservancy with Howard High School. Email Robyn Carlton at rcarlton0812@gmail.com for more information.
  • Chattanooga Area Food Bank: Sorting food at the Warehouse from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Call Jessica Sullivan at 423-622-1800 or email JSullivan@chattfoodbank.org for more information

Friday, April 17

  • Brainerd Baptist School: Annual Run/Walk-a-Thon at Brainerd CrossRoads - volunteers are needed to help with lap counting and other duties.  The event raises money for Brainerd Baptist School to purchase new soccer goals, update and extend our climbing wall and add STEM equipment to the Science Exploration Lab. Contact Ellen Baggenstoss at ebaggenstoss@brainerdbaptist.org for more information.
  • Crabtree Farms: Spring Field Trips from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Volunteers needed to help with Pre-K school field trip. Contact achill@crabtreefarms.org for more information.

Saturday, April 18

  • Mark Making: Volunteer Day, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the new studio in East Chattanooga (2510 N. Chamberlain Ave.). Volunteers will paint the exterior of buildings, landscape lawns, and paint a new mural for Glass St. in East Chattanooga. Anyone interested can RSVP to Zach Atchley at zach@markmaking.org  or call (423) 227-3288.
  • Chattanooga Parks: Park Stewards Refresh and Cleanup Event, at Lake Hills Park (4345 Bellview Ave.), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For additional information please contact Jay Hopkins, Chattanooga Parks Volunteer Coordinator, at hopkins_jay@chattanooga.gov or call 423-315-0363.

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